Friday, January 19, 2007


I know you have all been waiting to hear what's going on with my stepmother. Yesterday she had her various doctors' appointments. The first was with the neurologist. The largest of the tumors in her brain is the size of an egg. Two others are the size of quarters and the other two are smaller. The neurologist recommended radiation since surgery would cause permanent damage -- definitely to her memory and possibly to her motor skills. She started radiation immediately following the appointment. In the afternoon she met with her GP and her oncologist. The oncologist wants to add on chemo to the radiation treatment. None of the treatment plan is a surprise to me thanks to the internet. So now I'll take a deep breath. She's stage 4 and the cancer started in her lungs. I talked to my mom last night immediately after talking to my dad. Actually I had been on the phone with my mom when my dad called. As soon as I hung up from my dad's call, I called my mom back. My mom and I are concerned that my stepmother has a defeatist attitude. My mom and I would never suffer from this because we are fighters. There's a part of me that says I should cry but I rarely cry. So I have been sitting around trying to force myself to cry because I know that if I hold it in, it will come out at an inopportune moment. I also know that I need to start scheduling some "mental health" days for myself from work. (Other folks may call these "sick days." And yes, that is one of the joys of teaching -- the ability to schedule a sick day in advance.) I had a long and realistic talk with my aunt -- not the one with cancer -- about my stepmother. She finally said that she believed that my stepmother's condition is terminal. Now this is the aunt to whom I was talking when I had the meltdown. What a relief to say that part of my meltdown was holding in the opinion that my stepmother's condition could very well be terminal from the various people around me. It was like a huge weight being lifted.

Speaking of huge weights being lifted, I came home last night with the most energy I have had in some time. That means that when Sports Guy called, I let him have it. Well, in a calm, dignified way. He was babbling about something and I said, "I just wanted to let you know that this is the last phone call that I will be accepting from you. You realize that I was majorly pissed off with you over this weekend and the feeling has not diminished? As such, I just do not think it is in my best interest to continue contact with you." (And of course, the idiot has called twice since then. Some crap about giving me space. Yes, I need space -- permanently.) And like magic Kate, my college roomie, called. So of course I had to hang up. Because we needed to discuss her upcoming wedding. Apparently I will be wearing some shade of blue because her fiance is color blind. She is still trying to determine the exact shade. Crap! I just remembered that I need to timeline the whole wedding planning thing for her since the wedding will apparently be happening in May. Any of you folks in the SoCal area who have insight for anything wedding related (e.g. flowers, caterer, etc.), please drop me a line so I can pass on the info.

And it is official. I am now hated by a small number of my students. Yesterday I did not send them out for timeout. Instead I took down names. (When I am feeling exceptionally cruel, I start singing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in my head.) The naughty kids were forced to spend morning recess in the classroom with me. I handed them reflection forms and told them that I would not tell them why I had made them stay in. Instead they needed to reflect and write down why. One kid wrote that he had done "nothing." I told him to erase his answers and to reflect some more on his behavior. They started yelling that I was mean and that my class wasn't fun. This would be the boys because somehow they had not figured out that it was better to do their time in silence like the girls had. Those boys ended up losing their next recess as well. By the afternoon, most of them were quite repentant. Those who weren't? Well, I promised them that we would repeat it all again today and every day until they got with the program.

Despite all the crap in my personal life, or maybe in spite of, I suddenly feel empowered. Ready to take the world by storm. Ready to turn the world on with my smile. OK. That was hokey, but you know what I mean.

1 comment:

  1. Some nice, quiet crying time would do you well. Schedule multiple "mental health" days. It can never hurt. Then just shut off the phone, pull the shades, and let it all out.

    If you need to talk...